Alonso expects to end driving career at McLaren
By Abhishek Takle
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso expects to end his Formula One career at McLaren, the 33-year-old Spaniard said, confirming that the team he joined from Ferrari at the end of last season was likely to be his last.
Alonso made his debut as a 19-year-old with Minardi in 2001 and has since claimed 32 victories in 236 races with this season representing his 14th in the sport, excluding the year he spent on the sidelines as a test driver for Renault.
"I think after 15 or 16 or 17 years in Formula One, whatever it will be, it's enough," Alonso told reporters at the Shanghai International Circuit on Thursday ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
"I will close the loop, I will close part of my life," he said, addressing a question about whether he would remain in the sport in some capacity once a driving career that brought him back-to-back world titles from 2005 ended.
"I started with a McLaren when I was three years old," he joked of a replica car bought for him by his father.
"I will finish with a McLaren but the real one in Formula One and that will be one-third of my life with a great experience, with great memories, with great friendships."
Widely regarded as the best driver of his generation, Alonso has often found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He joined McLaren at the start of this year from Ferrari, returning to a team he had left following a single acrimonious season in 2007. Continued...